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Man Man Returns to Arizona, Frontman Ryan Kattner Talks Inspiration, ‘On Oni Pond’

Man Man, interview, On Oni Pond, Man Man interview, Man Man tour, Xenia Rubinos, Honus Honus interview, Ryan Kattner interview, Ryan Kattner, Man Man tour

Honus Honus, Pow Pow, T. Moth, Brown Sugar and Shono Murphy are coming to town. The experimental fivepiece, better known collectively as Man Man, is currently on tour with Xenia Rubinos and scheduled to perform at two stops in ArizonaClub Congress on Sept. 27 and Crescent Ballroom on Sept. 28.

The band has released a new album almost every two years since its debut in 2004. Most-current release, On Oni Pond, dropped this month and is a reconstruction of the band’s sound but stays true to the heart of Man Man.

Read The Spec’s interview with frontman Ryan Kattner below…

Where did you draw most of your inspiration from while creating On Oni Pond? What is your favorite track on the new album and why?
I draw most of my inspiration from what’s happening in the world around me and what’s happening in my life. I try to blend these together to form something objective and new. So, basically my inspiration is the same as most creative folks: Life. Favorite tracks are “Head On” and “King Shiv.” “Head On” because it really helped me find a center to what the overall theme of the album was and “King Shiv” because it’s a dope-ass vibe. And I finally got to use the line “It puts the lotion in the basket” in a Man Man tune.

When not producing music with Man Man, you’ve worked on Mister Heavenly with Nicholas Thorburn of Islands. Do you think the two projects influence each other in any way? Any other side projects up your sleeve in the future?
Not really. Maybe in the sense that I wish I had an angelic voice like Nick’s sometimes. Mister Heavenly is working on a new album later this year in the pockets of when Man Man isn’t hustling. And Chris [Powell] and I are gonna start woodshedding material for the next Man Man album too. Gotta keep busy and stay hungry.

You’ve been a band for over 10 years now, what is the most important thing you’ve learned along the way?
Don’t take anything for granted in the A.D.D. universe.

What can you tell us about your opening act Xenia Rubinos? How did you get connected with her?
She’s fearless and beautiful, the kind of voice I’d follow to Hell. And Marco [Buccelli] , her drummer extraordinaire, is a sexy beast. How did we get connected? Fate.

You’re known for putting on entertaining live shows. Is there any particular show you’ve played (or attended as a fan) that stands out as a favorite? Can you relive it for us?
McCarren Park in Brooklyn years ago. Lou Reed and Vincent Gallo were in attendance that day, apparently. Epic.

Man Man, interview, On Oni Pond, Man Man interview, Man Man tour, Xenia Rubinos, Honus Honus interview, Ryan Kattner interview, Ryan Kattner, Man Man tourFinish the sentences…

If you’re going to share a Man Man song with someone who has never heard the band before, share…“Head On.” It’s the gummy worm on the hook.

I can’t go on tour without…my chippy.

If I’m watching TV, it’s only to see…Anderson Cooper’s lovely face.

Man Man is…the path I choose many years ago and unwisely left breadcrumbs to trace my way back home.

I can’t stop listening to…Shilpa Ray.

The Man in the Blue Turban with a Face is to…as On Oni Pond is to… newborn covered in afterbirth versus a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand.

The best piece of advice I’ve been given is…levity is the most important thing we have.

My favorite venue to play is…Bottle Tree in Birmingham, Mohawk in Austin, 9:30 Club in D.C., Williamsburg Music Hall in Brooklyn, Union Transfer in Philly…to name a few.

Creative Allies is currently hosting a “Design an iPhone Case for Man Man’s ‘Head On’” contest through Oct. 17. Those who create the most unique and clever designs inspired by “Head On” stand to win $500, a copy of the new album On Oni Pond, and an iPhone 5 case with the winning artwork on the cover. For more information about the contest, visit here.

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